At the end of August, Google announced some changes to its’ guidelines for local reviews. The new guidelines stated that while adding third party reviews to your site was still permissible, it is now preferred that they aren’t marked up with local business schema. This caused a bit of a fuss in the SEO industry, with people questioning why Google would dismiss authoritative review sites from their search results.
However, yesterday another announcement from Google was made that seemed to be an antidote for the changes to the guidelines. Google announced that it would now be including third party reviews in the knowledge graphs of the search results for local businesses. This now means that while we originally thought third party review sites would become less apparent in the search results, it is now the complete opposite.
The knowledge graphs now show three top third party review sites where applicable (and available) in local business searches. The update has already rolled out over the past 24 hours, and here at Feefo we have already seen changes in some of our merchant’s search results on both desktop and mobile:
All companies that will be shown in the knowledge graphs are approved licensed partners of Google. It was also announced that the order of the sites will be chosen based on relevance to the business which means that desktop and mobile results for the same search could vary.
With a few changes being made to guidelines and algorithms by Google lately, it wouldn’t be a surprise if there were further updates and changes to local search results and reviews so keep an eye on our blog for further updates!
If you have any questions regarding Google’s latest update to the search results, and how Feefo can help, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager or our support team. If you do not know who your account manager is, simply get in touch, email our US team or call 0845 680 0320(UK) or 617 861 0611(US).